The core OGL rules provide less than a dozen or so of alchemical items, but despite their minimal numbers, almost every adventuring party has somebody equipped with some form of alchemical item, be it the ever useful tanglefoot bag, thunderstone or alchemist's fire. These items are considered excellent utility items, and on many occasions a well-placed tanglefoot bag can make the difference between victory and survival. Tangent Games' latest offering, Even More Damage Through Alchemistry, is a follow-up product from Better Damage Through Alchemistry and presents 30 new and useful alchemical items for both damage purposes and more utility uses.
Even More Damage Through Alchemistry is a 30 page pdf product for the OGL rules written by Geoff Habinger. The product is well presented, containing an informative and eye-catching cover, a useful brief overview and introduction to alchemy, and a neatly presented layout with good writing and editing. The product contains complete bookmarks to allow you to easily find a particular item, and several tables towards the end of the product summarize the various alchemical items in this product neatly. The style of the cover and indeed the presentation is very similar to all Tangent Games' product, a kind of no-frills/minimalist approach to presentation which generally works.
This product is all about alchemy and alchemical items. As such it starts with a brief overview of alchemy, followed by a presentation and detailed overview of the OGL rules covering the crafting and use of alchemical skills. This product uses the same new rules for alchemy that were introduced in Better Damage Through Alchemy, and these are reprinted and detailed here, covering such topics as ingestion, inhalation and eye contact with various alchemical substances. The mechanics of these rules is generally solid, although can easily be cast away for those interested in using these items without the additional attention to detail.
The product presents a variety of different alchemical items with different functions and purposes, and it was an entertaining read to see some of the uses to which chemistry and alchemy can be put. It combines a realistic with fantastical approach to alchemy and chemistry well to create some useful items that will allow the alchemist a chance to shine in the game, and increase the use of the Craft (alchemy) skill beyond the first few levels of a character's life. Alchemical items include a variety of acids, bases, gases, alchemical metals and other liquid concoctions that not only damage, but can also provide utility purpose.
In general this product provides some useful and balanced material that can easily be brought into any game. Some items are considerably more powerful for their price, and while that may be realistic from a world-view point of view, from a game balance perspective they probably need some tweaking. Pyridine, for example, forces a DC 20 inhalation Fortitude save to prevent unconsciousness, all for only 25 gp. A substance like that is capable of incapacitating even high CR monsters quite easily. As another example, Caesium does 3d6 points of damage to all creatures in a 10 ft. radius for only 50 gp. It's like a mini-fireball in a bottle and certainly a whole lot cheaper. I think on the whole the items have been studiously crafted, but game balance-wise there are one or two anomalies.
Through this product and its predecessor, Better Damage Through Alchemistry, Tangent Games have opened up a whole field of new alchemical items that many characters, particularly quintessential alchemical item users such as halfling rogues and other utility characters, will benefit from immensely. This product is very useful in this regard, and provides a good balance between chemistry and magic to create generally balanced and well-crafted alchemical items. Overall, I enjoyed this product, and can definitely see the use of the substances in game.
[4 of 5 Stars!]